How to Win Back Your Former Customers

How to Win Back Your Former Customers
  • Opening Intro -

    Your business has been in operation for some time and you have seen customers come and customers go. Hopefully, those that have gone on did so for reasons other than poor service.


Just the same, any individual that has passed through your doors is a potential customer again. You can win back your former customers, individuals that might return with some persuasion and with an incentive.

Reach Out

If you know how to contact customers you haven’t seen in a while, then reach out. This may be through email, a social media connection or by phone. Also, never discount the benefit of a personal note sent the old-fashioned way: by postal mail.

Let your customers know that you appreciate them, miss their business and you want them back. Offer an incentive to expedite that return. For instance, if you own a coffee shop, provide a free cup of joe on their next visit. Include a redeemable coupon with that offer.

Acknowledge Loyalty

Sometimes, customers will leave your business for another one that rewards loyalty. It is easy to take for granted the familiar faces that grace your business. That familiarity, however, should not blind you to what these people bring: the support you need to keep your business going and growing.

When you reach out to your customers, remind them of your appreciation for their business. Take a soft touch approach, one that is big on appreciation and small on asking for their return. That, “asking” can be in the form of a coupon or other special offer just for them. For instance, if you run a pet grooming service, you can offer a free nail clipping for a dog or cat with no purchase obligation.

Customer Service

Chances are a customer has left your business because your service fell short of their needs. Perhaps there was a disagreement. Maybe your business failed to deliver the level of service expected. Try to find out the reasons why and correct as necessary.

You cannot please every customer, but you can make sure that your current customers are satisfied. This means asking your customers what they think that needs to be improved, greeting each individually by name if you know them and regularly thanking them for their business.

Customers are not always looking for the best deal when shopping. Some people want the service and are willing to pay extra for it. Know what each customer wants and tailor your response accordingly. If you mess up, apologize. And then make it right.

Make Connections

Former customers as well as your current customers may need to find ways to connect with you. For instance, if you run a bake shop, you may want to encourage people to opt in to receive your monthly newsletter. That newsletter can include a seasonal recipe, baking tips and a shout out to a customer. It can also include information about your next contest or an upcoming special exclusive to newsletter recipients.

Remember, former customers may choose to move on for personal reasons. Never nag them to make a return, but do show your interest in them and always thank your customers for their business.

See AlsoHow to Make Customers Feel Welcome


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Categories: Business Services

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".